Saudi Crown Prince unveils master plan and key features of Jeddah Central Project

Development expected to add 47bn riyals to Saudi Arabia's economy

An aerial view shows deserted streets in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on April 21, 2020, as the message "stay home" in Arabic is displayed on a tower during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. / AFP / BANDAR ALDANDANI
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday unveiled the master plan and main features of the 75 billion riyal ($20bn) Jeddah Central Project, which would create a world-class destination at the heart of the city and further strengthen its economy.

The development, which will be financed by the kingdom's Public Investment Fund and local and international investors, will cover more than 5.7 million square metres and is expected to add 47bn riyals to Saudi Arabia's economy by 2030.

It is part of Prince Mohammed's programme to develop all regions and cities of the kingdom.

The project, which was formerly known as New Jeddah Downtown, will include four landmarks – an opera house, a museum, a sport stadium and an oceanarium – and contribute to opening the way for the local private sector to participate in the development.

These, in turn, will help shape the operation of promising economic sectors including tourism, entertainment, culture and sport, say officials.

In addition, modern residential areas spanning 17,000 units and diversified hotel projects with more than 2,700 rooms will be developed, with provisions for integrated solutions for the business sector. The project will also feature a marina, beach resorts, restaurants, cafes and diverse shopping options.

“The project master plan reflects the Hejazi essence of urban fabric and blocks that characterise the historic city of Jeddah in a contemporary interpretation designed to the highest international standards,” a statement released on Friday said.

Jeddah is located in the Hejaz region in the west of Saudi Arabia.

“It also considers the application of the latest technologies to transform Jeddah into a 'smart destination', creating an effortless experience for residents and visitors.

“In addition, the design of the project has adopted world-class sustainability programmes to contribute to supporting the environment and the economy, in line with the objectives of the Saudi Green Initiative.

“More than 500 expert engineers and consultants participated in the development of the master plan, representing five of the best design houses in the world.”

Saudi Arabia is pushing forward with numerous mega developments that are aimed at significantly boosting and diversifying the national economy.

In November, Prince Mohammed announced a futuristic new industrial city in the sea called Oxagon, which is set to be the largest floating industrial complex in the world and will be the first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for Saudi Arabia's high-tech city Neom.

The kingdom also announced plans that Neom will expand a tiny local port into a trade and manufacturing hub near the Suez Canal to anchor Oxagon.

The Jeddah Central Project contributes to achieving the objectives of Vision 2030, which aims to build a prosperous economy and a vibrant society while providing the best lifestyle for residents and visitors.

The waterfront of the project is 9.5 kilometres long and includes a promenade, a marina to host local and international yachts and a 2.1km-long beach. Open spaces and public services make up 40 per cent of the project area, with the provision of designated pedestrian areas to create a walkable environment.

A rendering of Oxagon, which is set to be the largest floating industrial complex in the world and will be the first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for Saudi Arabia's high-tech city Neom. Photo: Neom

The Jeddah Central Project is one of the biggest local investments of the Public Investment Fund, which contributes to diversifying sources of income, advancing the national economy and creating more job opportunities for Saudi citizens.

The project’s developer, Jeddah Central Development Company, was established in 2019 by the fund, and its board of directors is headed by Prince Mohammed. The company will complete the project in three phases, the first of which is set to be finished by the end of 2027.

Following this, the project will begin welcoming Jeddah residents as well as visitors from both inside and outside the kingdom.

Currently, the company is working with all relevant authorities to ensure the implementation of every stage of the project.

Updated: December 18, 2021, 8:08 AM